Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

This Thanksgiving we headed down to Houston to spend our Holiday with Burke and Stacey and their adorable girl Marin and Hollis. And as an added bonus, our Mimi was there! It was so fun to see all of the cousins together. Burke and I ran a 10k Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning and although my pace was slow for him he stuck with me and we ran the whole thing together which was a real treat for me. :) I love spending time with that guy. I also got to spend a lot of time with Stacey which was a blessing to me in so many ways. I always say I lucked out in the sister in law department but I any time I get to spend extended time with any of my sister in laws I know it is true. Mimi drove back with us today so we get to spend some extra time with her before she goes back D.C. And now the pics...

Kate in her traveling outfit. :)

This is a picture of a turkey making a turkey cookie. Ha!


Uncle Burke with sweet little Marin showing off her turkey.

The smilingest girl  (actual word?) I have ever met. It seemed like she was smiling the entire time we were there. Beautiful!

Quite possibly my most favorite picture of the trip. They were hiding from Kate, who by the way was playing by herself and did not know she was being looked for. :)

"Hiding" from Kate. Shhhhh!!!

Dr. Kate expounding on Obamacare. She listened to my heart and said I sounded "elephanty". Hmmm...sounds ominous.

His "funny face". He would have happily posed for a 100 pictures with this face but as far as getting a normal one of him smiling? Few and far between.

These 2 really bonded during this trip. Very cute. At one point Hollis did something to Marin at which Carson responded, "Hollis don't do that again." and then said to Marin, "I am so sorry that happened to you Marin."

Sweet Ones.

Kate with her Mimi. Love this one. :)

Kate with Aunty Stace getting loved on. :)

Kate was in the bathroom and brother and cousins were waiting for her to come out. Carson was just looking at this photo and told me they were laughing because he was sticking his foot under the door and Kate was tickling it. He said Marin did it to. :)

The cousins table.

Burke and Stacey's house is so beautiful.

And finally we made it home and Carson announced that he wanted to watch a football game on TV while  playing with his football guys at the table. Aw yeah!

Thankful For.....

This and That

I am all for Kate practicing her spelling words, however using  the bum of your horse to do so may be cause for a lecture about respecting your toys. But for now I take a picture of her kindergarten progress. :)

Being at one with the Kindle finally. After some questionable choices kept them apart for each other for quite awhile.

I love my quirky boy. I mean what better way to eat an orange than bouncing on a ball??? 

She wanted barrettes in her hair for probably the 3rd time in her entire life. What a face!

Our new challenge. Kate calls it  Penelope or Fonopoly. More commonly known as Monopoly.

Monday, November 25, 2013


For the first time in 17 years I have no place to work. No job to go to. And not by choice. I loved that job. I loved everything about it. The way it fit my skills. The way it challenged me and rewarded me. It's gone. Done. As I loaded up all of my office equipment to return it to my former company today  I realized that  this is it. It really is over. 

But let me tell you, losing  my job was a walk in the park compared to the day I found myself in a courtroom nearly 18 months ago. My heart broke in ways that day I will never be able to fully understand or resolve within myself. My marriage ended with a simple signature. With a couple of words from the judge, she cancelled out the last 8 years of my life. The only way that I know that those 8 years existed is that I have two beautiful little beings that bear a striking resemblance to the one that was the love of my life.  I still haven't recovered. And to tell the truth I'm really not sure if I ever will fully recover. It has been said that divorce is the highest form of rejection. It is the one person who you loved completely saying, "Not you." Oh and by the way? "Definitely not you." To say that it hurts does not come close to fully describing what it does to you. I settle on the fact and almost rest in the fact that it is an indescribable feeling. It is far reaching and it still knocks me down every single day.

 I was proud of being a wife. I made it my identity.

 It's funny the things that make you feel proud of yourself. People say that men identify their worth with their jobs? Well it happened to me to. I get it now that I'm single. This job was a way to provide for my kids. A way for them to be proud of me. Not sure if that is the correct or Christian way to view it but that's the way I saw it. Over the past 2 years I have seen 2 things that I used to identify myself be taken away from me. And I've spent those last 2 years trying to find something or some one to be accountable for my misfortune. Was it just circumstance? Fate? Evil? Satan? Here's what I do know. It wasn't God. God didn't end my marriage nor did he end my job. Ok maybe he had a hand in pushing me towards another direction career wise but I don't think he had a hand in ending my marriage. I read a book recently in which the author was dying of an aggressive form of cancer. I loved that book because he didn't paralyze you with Jesus talk. Sometimes people heap the word of God on you so much that you feel silly for having a sad thought or angry question. You lost your job? Don't worry God will provide. Yes, I think,  but can I have a feeling about it? The man you loved left you? Well God will take care of you and hold you in His arms. Yes, thank you, but does it make me an unbeliever if I am incredibly sad about that?   This author was a believer to be sure, but he got angry. He questioned. He cursed. But in the end he came to the following conclusion: He just could not believe that the same God that loved him so much that He would send his own son to die for him could be the same God that would give him cancer. And although God would seem like the convenient one to blame. And let's face it, I've spent a lot of time blaming God and being angry at Him. But I have a feeling for all of my yelling and rebellion He just stood His ground and waited for me. And when I was on the floor or sitting on the edge of my bed in the middle of the night crying and asking, "Why?" and screaming over and over, "I didn't want this!" He was sitting close by. Loving me. Waiting for me. And so I have no real answers as to why bad things happen to people or whom or what is to blame. Still have not figured that out and I never will be comfortable with any answer that I discover or is given to me. I find that as I get older there is so much that I really can't explain and I am learning that I have to be ok with that. To keep my sanity and my kindness I have to know that some things will never be explained.

I will close with this revelation that I had recently. I have one basic fear in life and it is this: I fear that my kids will never know how much I love them. I can tell them and show them in my actions but my one fear is that they will doubt it and not believe it. When I pray with my kids at night I always say, "and God please help Kate and Carson to know how much they are loved." The thing is that God wants the same for me. I just realized it. He is wanting the same thing that I want for my kids. He wants me to know how much I am loved by Him. I still don't believe it. I haven't let His love pierce through my insecurity and darkness. I hope that someday I will. What a day that will be.

Monday, November 18, 2013

This and That

I think I am most attracted to other peoples blog posts that are titled this and that or odds and ends because I know that it will be a mish mash of pictures and hopefully a good story. So here is our "this and that" for the week end.

It was a cake pop comeback this week end. I made some cake pops for my dear friend's little girl's 1st Birthday party this week end. I forgot how much I love to make these and how easy they are to make.

Kate was lost in thought over her oatmeal the other morning and I thought this was such a good picture of her soulful eyes. There's a lot going on in that beautiful head of hers.
We had a hard freeze this week. And then it was near 90 on Sunday. I have given up trying to understand Texas weather. This lone yellow rose from my back yard survived.
One of my greatest joys in life these days is that Kate and Carson are so close. I love seeing this bond that they have grow more and more everyday. It is truly a precious thing to witness and makes me feel so incredibly blessed.
I caught this sweet little scene on Saturday morning. I'm loving our family time at home these days. We are no where near perfect but the kids are reading more and they have discovered the joy of board games. We play at least one and often multiple games every single night. Carson often yells out like a gameshow host "Who wants to play Zingo!?!?!?!?"  Currently we play Battleship (an easy version). Monopoly (or as Kate calls it Fonofoly), War, Go Fish, Zingo, and classic Candy Land.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Kindergarten Report

Someone posted this on Facebook and it brought me to tears and had me laughing all at the same time. And as Dolly Parton said in Steel Magnolias, "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion."
It comes from the author of the blog Glennon Doyle Melton.

I’m in a new life season over here. I’ve got all three kids in school and I’m working from home, so I’m taking my turn. I’m heading into the school to help the kids’ teachers when I can. For all of you parents who can’t make it in because you’re in a different life season- I’d like to offer you the OFFICIAL KINDERGARTEN REPORT:


The over-achievers are concentrating and the artists are doodling and the rascals are rascalling (why do the rascals always have the most hard-to-resist grins?) and the ones that struggle are with the teacher getting some extra love and smiles. They’re painting and sharing and getting band-aids for invisible paper cuts and singing math songs and talking over each other and telling twelve minute stories during circle time that have absolutely nothing to do with the topic being discussed. Teacher: Does anyone know why we celebrate Thanksgiving? Little One: Oh! OH! ME ME ME! Teacher: Yes. Sarah. Sarah: MY GRANDMA’S NAME IS ALICE AND SHE HAS A BLUE CAR AND ALSO NINE CATS!!!! (then twelve more minutes about each cat, obviously.)

LISTEN TO ME: They don’t miss us. I KNOW they swear they do and they cry before drop off and they make us feel fifty shades of crappy before 8 am and I’m not saying that they’re lying: but let’s just say THAT THEY ARE DRAMATICALLY MISREPRESENTING THEIR EXPERIENCE. I don’t know why they do this. I think that maybe after our babies are born and the nurse takes them away to have their “first bath” she actually takes them a workshop entitled: “THIS IS HOW TO LAY ON THE MOMMY GUILT HARD AND FAST. DO IT OFTEN AND EARLY- SHE’LL BUY YOU MORE CRAP.” Don’t buy them more crap. They’re happy. I watched them all really closely this morning- and they are being cared for. We have a-freaking-mazing teachers in this country and they are DOING THEIR WORK so that we can breathe and do ours. And all of them- the overachievers and the artists and the rascals and the story tellers and the strugglers – they will be okay. They have nets.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Blissfully Unaware

We had so much fun on Sunday afternoon practicing some flag football in the back yard. I was a bench player at best in all sports that I played in high school so I'm not too sure I was the best person for this, but we sure had a lot of fun. It's funny because the whole time we were outside we had no idea (or maybe one of us knew?) that Carson had locked us out of the house. I'm not sure if he meant to (see picture of major fit below)  but he did and the end result was meeting our neighbors and getting to witness and very cool locksmith "break into" our house. And one  very expensive lesson that I learned. Make a copy of your key and leave it with your next door neighbor. I wish my education were cheaper.

She insisted I take a picture of her throwing the ball.

My friend that has an almost 2 year old asked me when kids stop throwing fits. The answer???


Kate and I took these fun jumping pics while Carso was hatching his plan.

He's jumping for joy (with a locked door behind him)

Oh Dear. Such is life!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Because I Don't Want to Forget

Wow. I seem to be having a lot of these posts lately! I just want to get everything down.

Kate and Carson love to play school together. And for a VERY long time Kate was the teacher and Carson was the student. Well he just recently promoted himself to co teacher. Smart kid. I think he realized it was more fun to boss than be bossed around. BUT I feel bad for the "kids" AKA various stuffed animals. He is a MEAN teacher. For all of the discipline challenges that he has in real life Mr. Gowens is a strict and stern teacher and has impossibly high standards and is always putting his "kids" in time out. Always a scowl on his face and always a deep sigh as he completes any task. Art imitating life???!? Kate on the other is a kind and compassion teacher. Always calling her "kids" sweetie which is one term of endearment I do not use so that's got to be from her Kindergarten teacher.

Calling role. And you can bet he is NOT happy

He just got these PJs handed down from his cousin.

So the other day on the way to school I made a major idiot move and wrecked one side of my car. The story is not even remotely interesting but long story short, every is ok except for my finances. But again my total fault 100%. Anyway as I was walking Kate into school after the "accident" I noticed she started to get upset. The downside of letting your kids name your car Zachary is that they will put real people characteristics on it. She was tearing up and I told her that it is just a car and I will get it fixed but the main thing was that our family was safe. She seemed ok. But then when I picked her up she said that she cried in the hallway. I asked her if she told her teacher and she said that she hadn't but she told her friend Michael. I met Michael the other night at the Parent Math night. You know how you can tell that some kids are being raised to be compassionate and kind beyond their years? Well that is Michael. She said that she told Michael that her "car ran into oil tanker (not really) and that it was dented and broken." then she said "And I told him my heart breaked." And then she said "When I told Michael I felt better and my heart came back together again."
After we were home Kate stood out in the driveway and told Zachary how sorry she was that he was hurt and that we were going to get him fixed and he was going to get brand new doors. She wanted me to explain to her exactly how he was going to be fixed.
This morning Carson came into my room and climbed into bed with me wrapped his arms around me and said, " I'm so happy I'm here with you." A blessing to wake up to those words.
When we play Candy Land which is  A LOT lately I play with 2 different players. Kate is learning to be a good sport but she has a ways to go. Carson is for the most part a very good sport even when he is losing. When he pulls one of those bummer cards that send you all the way back down to the beginning he always says, "I'm ok with that!" 

Kate writing in her "math notebook". Not sure why it is a math notebook since she uses it draw and write her letters and words.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

First Flag Football Game

So here is the anatomy of a flag football play when you're 4 and 5. One person snaps the ball. There is a "quarterback" that gets the snap, then he/she looks for someone to "handoff" to, whichever kid is paying attention at the time and actually holds his hands out is the one who gets the ball. The "receiver" then runs down the field (sometimes in the opposite direction) while the rest of his/her team stands still and watches him. Hilarious.

He was excited and cold in that order.

She was cold and cold in that order.

Kate playing quarterback

She gingerly hands it off to the kid who has his hands out

Watching the receiver run down the field.

Staying warm by jumping up and down with a friend

Carso returning a flag :)

SO ready

Sweetest boy alive

Action shot. Really reaching for that flag!

Putting his flag back on. He had it taken off by his ...ahem! OWN teammate

Running Carso Style

Carson in the black hat in hot pursuit. Where is Kate you ask? Standing on the sidelines with Mom declaring that she was done and ready for snacks:) One kid was cuddled up with his Mom for the majority of the game. That's just how things roll with the 4 and 5 football league. :)

God has said, "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" Hebrews 13:5-6